Gerontology at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Gerontology leaf symbol

*From the Interim Director*

Fall, 1998, not only brought a new name to our university, Minnesota State University, Mankato, but also: semesters; a new interim director for the Gerontology Program and the Center on Aging, Carolyn Shrewsbury; a new full-time gerontology faculty member, Kathryn "Jay" Elliott; graduate assistants, Kristen O'Shaughnessy and Sandra Valentine (also the new editor for this newsletter); new students; and a new office, Trafton North 335. Our phone number has remained the same, (507)389-1563, as has our web page address, We intend to provide you with the same professional service that David Janovy provided over the years of his program leadership.

This newsletter has always served many purposes. For our students, alumni and friends, it is meant to be a bulletin board - a source of information about upcoming courses and events. It has been a way to share information about resources in gerontology in our communities. We also see it as a recruiting tool. Gerontology is an exciting field with many opportunities and we hope that undergraduates consider us as a minor and that both current students and those working in the field consider us for a graduate level program. Please contact us if you would like to talk further about joining our program. Also, please let us know how this newsletter might better serve you.

Even with all of the changes greeting us this fall, we are steadily moving to implement our continuing and new initiatives. We'll have a full report for you in our Spring newsletter. As always, your advice, ideas and concerns are welcomed, and indeed, eagerly sought. We look forward to working with you.

~Carolyn Shrewsbury

*Welcome to New Faculty Member, Kathryn "Jay" Elliott!!*

Dr. Elliott is a sociocultural gerontologist who has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University. For her doctorate, she spent two years in Denmark doing research on the way elderly people see themselves and how this personal view of aging differs, and sometimes conflicts, with the way the Danish welfare state views "pensioners" and structures services and institutions for them. After receiving her Ph.D. in 1990, she received postdoctoral training in social research on applied issues of aging at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and in sociocultural gerontology at the University of California, San Francisco. While in the postdoctoral training program at UC, San Francisco, Dr. Elliott began working with the Memory Clinic and Alzheimer's Center at UCSF on a project involving Chinese dementia patients, their families and the Chinese elder-service community in San Francisco's Chinatown.

After finishing her postdoctoral fellowship, she continued to work with this Chinese dementia project for an additional three years as an applied sociocultural gerontologist and medical anthropologist. She collected and analyzed research data on the sociocultural factors influencing the medical evaluation, case management, and family care of demented Chinese elders and their use of health and social support services. She also served in a clinical capacity, writing reports on Chinese family interviews which became part of the patient's permanent medical file; participating in diagnostic case conferences; and holding conferences with Chinese families to explain the diagnosis. At the same time, she worked in an applied capacity with San Francisco's Chinese community developing and testing Alzheimer's education outreach strategies.

Dr. Elliott comes most recently from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Anthropology. This semester at MSU, Mankato she is teaching the introductory course, GERO 200, and a graduate seminar on aging, culture and ethnicity. Next semester she will be teaching GERO 200 again, along with "Anthropology of Aging" and "Women and Aging."

*Spring Semester Courses* - Core requirements

Call #            Class                                                    When Offered                                Professor

POL 4/564     Aging: Policy Issues                            W 6:00-8:50                                    Shrewsbury

PSYC 4/566   Psychology of Aging                            T 6:00-8:50                                     Betts

SOC 4/504     Sociology of Aging                               T R 9:00-10:15                               Murray


GERO 200    Aging: Interdisciplinary                          M W F 9:00-9:50                           Elliott


ANTH 4/509 Anthropology of Aging                           M W F 11:00-11:50                       Elliott

BIOL 4/517   Biology of Aging                                    W 6:00-8:50                                   Bentley

GERO 4/580 Nursing Home Administration                W 6:00-8:50                                   Madel
                            (in Waseca)

FCS 4/543     Older Adult Nutrition                              T 5:00-7:50                                    Bond

RPLS 4/582   Leisure Needs of the Aging                    M 6:00-8:50                                   Strapko

WOST 4/545 Women and Aging                                 T 6:00-8:50                                     Elliott

Nursing Home Administration

ACCT 210     Management Accounting I                     multiple sessions                              Staff

GERO 200    Aging: Interdisciplinary                          M W F 9:00-9:50                            Elliott


SOC 4/504    Sociology of Aging                                T R 9:00-10:15                                 Murray

GERO 4/580 Nursing Home Administration              W 6:00-8:50                                     Madel
                                (in Waseca)

*Rose M. Hull Scholarship*

The Rose M. Hull Endowment was established by Mrs. B.H. Chesley in memory of her mother Rose M. Hull. Through the endowment's funds, the Gerontology program at Minnesota State University, Mankato will award two $800 scholarships for the 1998-99 academic year. The purpose of these scholarships is to recognize and encourage distinguished study in the field of gerontology and to provide financial assistance to gerontology students preparing for a career in the service of older adults. Eligibility requirements for an award are: 1) declared gerontology minor; 2) full-time study as a junior or senior during the period of the award; 3) commitment to and promise for a career in the service of older adults. Application forms may be obtained from the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging office in Trafton N335. For further information, please call (507)389-1563.

*Beta Mu*

Beta Mu is Minnesota State University, Mankato's chapter of Sigma Phi Omega-Beta Mu, a national academic honor and professional society in gerontology. Sigma Phi Omega-Beta Mu seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, services to older persons and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology/aging studies and related fields.

Membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students in gerontology/aging studies and related fields. Faculty, alumni, professional and honorary memberships to Sigma Phi Omega are also available. undergraduate and graduate students must be at least in their second term of enrollment. Undergraduates must have a grade point average of at least 3.3 and graduates must have at least a 3.5 GPA to be eligible for membership. Please contact the Gerontology Program/Center on Aging office at (507)389-1563 if you are interested in membership or in receiving more information on Sigma Phi Omega-Beta Mu.

*Student Club*

Would you like to meet other students that are going through the same program as you?! Here's your chance. We would like to refresh the gerontology student club with some new faces. Please call the Gerontology office at (507)389-1563 and sign up to join us. Not only will it be fun, it will be a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and get organized in your program! We look forward to talking with all of you! Please respond ASAP so we can set up a time that works for everyone!

*Events Calendar*


April 9, 1998

MAGEC South will be holding its Spring Conference in Mankato. For more information contact the MAGEC office at (507)389-5194.


November 20-24, 1998

"The Changing Contexts of Aging: Opportunities and Challenges in the New Millennium"- 51st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. It will be held in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, call GSA at (202)842-1275.

A conference titled, "The Voices of Decision Making: Who Speaks for the Elderly?" will be held on November 20 as part of the annual meeting.

December 10-13, 1998

The 4th International Conference on Long-term Care Case Management will be held in San Diego, CA. The title is "Care Management at the Crossroads.... Which Way to Quality?" For more information call (415)974-9600.

August 10-14, 1999

The 5th World Congress on Physical Activity, Aging, and Sports will be held in Orlando, FL. It is part of the United Nations "Year of Older Persons." In addition, there is a call for papers (deadline of November 1st) for this convention. Please call (217)351-5076, ext. 3510 for more information.

*Change to Advance Directive*

For those of you who are presently working or are pursuing a career in health care, there is an important change you should note. New legislation passed this year has changed and modified provisions governing advanced health care directives in Minnesota. As of August 1, 1998, all "Advance Directives" will be known as "Health Care Directives." The existing Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health care are now combined into one "Health Care Directive." The existing Living Wills and Durable Power of Attorney for Health care documents are still valid and do not have to be redone unless a person chooses to do so.

*Nursing Department Earns High Honors*

The School of Nursing has been selected by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) as this year's first place winner of the John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing Award for Exceptional Curriculum in Gerontologic Nursing.

As the first place winner, the School will receive a $1,000 award in addition to national recognition as the top gerontologic program in the nation. The award will be given on October 25 during the keynote session of the AACN fall semi-annual meeting.

*Professional Organizations*

Have you been told that networking is a good way to get a job? Membership in professional organizations can offer you the opportunity for job networking, as well as opportunities to obtain knowledge in your field, to expand your resume and to build valuable relationships with other professionals. Many organizations also include journals or other publications in the membership fee. Please call the Gerontology office at (507)389-1563 if you have any questions about how to apply.

Care Providers of Minnesota was established to seek out and implement solutions to the many challenges facing today's long-term care industry and professionals, as well as to establish a peer support network for members. There are no dues for student members who are enrolled in an education program in the area of long-term care administration. For information, contact Care Providers at 1-800-462-0024.

Minnesota Health and Housing Alliance is a professional association of nursing home and care providers who promote the interests of their members. Similar to Care Providers, MHHA works to keep on top of the changing trends in the long-term care industry. For more information, contact MHHA at 1-800-462-5368.

Minnesota Gerontological Society is a statewide association of people who are working, studying or interested in the field of aging. The purpose of MGS is to support and facilitate the efforts of its members to enhance the lives of older people. Regular membership is available for 1 year at $35, 2 years at $65, and 3 years at $90. Student memberships are $15 a year. For more information, contact the MGS at (612) 222-8233.

The American Society on Aging fosters a sense of community among professionals, provides professional education and training, promotes research and enhances the well being of older people and their families. Individual membership is $90 a year and student memberships are $35 a year. They publish Generations and Aging Today. For more information, contact the ASA at (415) 974-9600.

The Gerontological Society of America was founded to promote the scientific study of aging, to encourage exchanges among researchers and practitioners from the various disciplines related to gerontology and to foster the use of gerontological research in forming public policy. Regular memberships are $120 a year and student memberships cost $65 a year. They publish The Gerontologist and The Journal of Gerontology. For more information, contact the GSA at (202) 842-1275.

*Local Agencies of Interest*

When you need information for a research paper, want to volunteer in the community and/or desire to do an internship in the area, there are a variety of agencies to consider. The following are community agencies that offer resources pertaining to the older population. They are all within the Mankato area and provide people with an opportunity to learn more about the elderly.

Region 9 Area Agency on Aging:

"The goal of the Area Agency on Aging is to provide area-wide advocacy and leadership regarding aging, on behalf of older persons, that will promote a community-based continuum of services to support independent living, long term care, and acute care. Particular attention will be given to the special needs of older adults who are low income, disabled, frail, isolated and of minority status" (quoted from their pamphlet). It is involved in activities such as: Meals-on-Wheels, senior centers, information and referral, legal services, in-home services, and health promotion. It also serves as a good source for students doing research in the aging field. For example, they have videos and information packets that cannot be found on the MSU campus. In addition, past MSU students have done internships with the AAA. For more information, contact the Region 9 Area Agency of Aging office at (507)387-7105.

Summit Center

This organization could also be referred to as the Mankato area senior center. It offers older adults with a place to socialize with others, to learn more about available resources, and to take part in unique activities! To learn more about this organization, call (507)345-5262.

Living at Home/Block Nurse Program

This is a nonprofit program that seeks to help older people in the community live at home safely and independently for as long as possible. In order to do so, it offers affordable in-home services and volunteers. Some of the available services are skilled nursing, medication management, nutrition education and home health aides. Volunteers are always welcome to assist with transportation, respite care, shopping assistance and friendly visiting! For more information, contact the program office at (507)345-2985.


This is the south central regional office of the Minnesota Area Geriatric Education Center located at Mankato State University. The purpose of MAGEC South is to provide multidisciplinary continuing education for service providers who work with older adults. For further information, call their office at (507)389-5194.


This is Minnesota State University, Mankato's gerontology homepage. It is updated regularly and offers a variety of links to other aging organizations. This site is a good place for those doing age-related research to start! In addition, it provides information regarding the gerontology program, including undergraduate, graduate, and nursing home administration licensure requirements.

The Families USA Foundation offers health care consumers a chance to voice their opinions. This site looks at the differences in managed care plans.

Visit this site as a link to government, policy and long-term care resources. Included is a directory of WEB and gopher sites on aging, put forth by the U.S. Administration on Aging- Department of Health and Human Services. This site also allows you to look at aging resources in specific states.


Memorial Library offers this CD-ROM database for those interested in finding research materials related to the aging field. The database covers 1978 through 1998. Directions are available near the workstation. In addition, a thesaurus of aging terminology and a list of journal titles indexed by AgeLine are available near the workstation. Be sure to take advantage of this resource!


The Gerontology office at Trafton N335, the MAGEC office at Wissink 334 and the Area Agency on Aging at 410 E. Jackson, Mankato have videos that can be borrowed. For example, there are videos related to elder abuse, Alzheimer's, depression, etc... Visit the offices to learn what the titles are and how to check them out.

*NEWSLINK also available in alternate format*

Gerontology Home Page

last revised: March 26, 2002
contact: Sara Prosen